Manchester freshman Natalya Morris picked up wrestling in eighth grade and decided to try out for the high school wrestling team.
“I like the fact that it’s a contact sport,” said Morris. “It’s nothing like 8th grade wrestling. It’s much harder with more advanced moves being done.”
She’s the only girl on the team this year and Natalya is determined to keep improving.
“She’s been able to stay dedicated. She doesn’t disappear and because she has that I think she’ll definitely be able to go four years and be able to grow with the sport,” said assistant coach Kassandra Holder.
Holder knows exactly what it takes to compete as a high school wrestler because she did it herself about a decade ago at Manchester High School.
“I always said I beat every girl I ever wrestled so I think that makes me a state champ,” Holder said with a laugh. “You’re going against a kid with a six pack and you’re like ‘okay I’m going to try my best.’ I always had a positive attitude and was ready for more.”
That’s exactly what she sees in Morris, whether she’s wrestling against girls or boys.
“It’s about your size and how you use it and the skill,” said Holder. “I think that’s phenomenal about the sport.”
“When she was wrestling, she was one of the only females so I can learn a lot from her,” added Morris.
Natalya takes great pride in continuing the tradition of female wrestlers at Manchester High School.
“People say girls can’t do a lot of things guys can do because they’re weaker or not strong enough so it’s just showing that I can do the same things guys can do,” said Morris.